Pierre-Amand Landry

Pierre-Amand Landry (1846-1916) was one of the first generation of students to enroll at College Saint-Joseph in Memramcook, NB, in 1864. He began his political career in 1870, succeeding his father, Amand Landry, as MLA for Westmorland riding. After a defeat in 1874, he was re-elected in 1878 and sat until 1883. He decided to try to establish a certain degree of equality between the English- and French-speaking residents of the province. Landry was not only the first Acadian lawyer and first Acadian judge, he was also the first Acadian to become a provincial cabinet minister, when he was given the public works portfolio, which he held from 1878 to 1882.

Landry entered the federal political scene in 1883. As Conservative MP for Kent, he continued to plead the cause of the Acadians in the House of Commons until 1890. In 1916 he became the only Acadian to be knighted by the British Crown.

Pascal Poirier

Pascal Poirier, who was born in Shediac, NB, in 1852 and died in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1933, was one of Acadia's great intellectuals. A lawyer, civil servant, writer and senator, he was known for his Read More

Pierre-Amand Landry

Pierre-Amand Landry (1846-1916) was one of the first generation of students to enroll at College Saint-Joseph in Memramcook, NB, in 1864. He began his political career in 1870, succeeding his father, Amand Landry, as MLA for Westmorland riding. After a defeat in 1874, he was re-elected in 1878 and sat until 1883. He decided to try to establish a certain degree of equality between the English- and French-speaking residents of the province. Landry was not only the first Acadian lawyer and first Acadian judge, he was also the first Acadian to become a provincial cabinet minister, when he was given the public works portfolio, which he held from 1878 to 1882.

Landry entered the federal political scene in 1883. As Conservative MP for Kent, he continued to plead the cause of the Acadians in the House of Commons until 1890. In 1916 he became the only Acadian to be knighted by the British Crown.

Pascal Poirier

Pascal Poirier, who was born in Shediac, NB, in 1852 and died in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1933, was one of Acadia's great intellectuals. A lawyer, civil servant, writer and senator, he was known for his outstanding intelligence, patriotism and strong personality.

Poirier received a classical education at College Saint-Joseph in Memramcook. He was greatly influenced by the founder and principal of the college, Father Camille Lefebvre. In 1872 Father LeFabvre recommended Poirier to Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, who wished to appoint an Acadian to the federal civil service. In 1885, at the age of 33, Poirier became the first Acadian senator. He held that position until his death in 1933.

Poirier took part in all the Acadian struggles. He was one of the main organizers of the first Acadian national convention, which was held in Memramcook in 1881, and he fought until 1912 to have the first Acadian bishop appointed.

Louis J. Robichaud

On June 27, 1960, an Acadian lawyer, Louis-J. Robichaud, became premier of New Brunswick. Robichaud's electoral platform, driven by the concept of "equal opportunity for all," included many social reforms, and that is what led him to victory. Robichaud thus became the first Acadian premier of the province. He held the position until 1970.

Shortly after acceding to power, Robichaud set up a royal commission of inquiry into higher education. The Deutsch Commission recommended the creation of the Université de Moncton, which opened in 1963. In 1969 the Robichaud government passed the Official Languages Act, making New Brunswick the only officially bilingual province in Canada. In practice, this meant that French-speaking citizens were now legally entitled to deal with the courts and the provincial government in their mother tongue.


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Learning Objectives

Learners will understand the roles played by Pierre-Armand Landry, Pascal Poirier and Louis J. Robichaud in the promotion of Acadian rights.

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